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Dr. STONE New World P2 – 2 [The Medusa’s True Face]

Welcome all, to another episode of Dr. STONE! This one is a bit late, had a lot on my plate this weekend, but it’s ok now. This week sees the science kingdoms continued progress and the mystery of the islands shadowed ruler revealed. We have a lot to talk about, so lets dive into it!

Starting off, lets talk visuals. Dr. STONE has particularly cared about this. Oh the designs are nice, the linework, backgrounds and general style of the show is appealing, no one can deny that. However it’s never been what you would call “animated”. The characters have never moved much and the action we got was, generally, just bad. Dr. STONE has largely avoided this pitfall by just not having action. A smart move. Eventually however, someone is going to fight. Which is why it was such a surprise this week when it actually looked… decent? I still wouldn’t call it good, not in the same season as Jujutsu Kaisen, Frieren or Undead Unluck. But Kohaku’s spat with Moz was actually watchable. That’s nice! I don’t think anyone expected that, it feels like Dr. STONE is starting to figure that out. Hopefully it can maintain that going forward.

Getting into the episode, the first half is a classic Dr. STONE “Humanity Fuck Yeah” story. Taiju swimming out to gather the pieces, putting everyone together, progressing science, even having fun with small toys like fidget spinners to illustrate how ball bearings work. It’s some good classic fun and Dr. STONE even manages to dodge using it to skip past all of their problems. Take the petrified people for instance. Even though they have the platinum, making revival fluid takes time. Enough that, even though they are technically “rescuing” people, they still can’t bring them back yet. It’s a fine way to keep the tension, the danger, up while progressing saving everyone. Plus it even introduces a new mystery as they end up with one extra statue they don’t recognize by the end, one that clearly predates their arrival on the island.

All that said, as cool as the focus on Kaseki and the fidget spinner was, my favorite moment for this half was the reaffirmation of Senku and Taiju’s friendship. They really don’t get to interact much lately, not with how large the cast has grown. So getting this small moment to remind us precisely why they are such fast friends was nice. And what really made it great was that isn’t some kind of surface level “He was the only one who could put up with me” bullshit. No, despite the fact that they couldn’t be more different, the scientist and the meathead, these two get along so well because they both embody that driving force behind humanity. That will to go further, to learn more, accomplish more, to never give up in the face of a challenge. They are, together, the embodiment of human will. And it’s great.

Moving on to the second half, this is where things start to get a bit more serious. Our infiltrators are discovered, Moz finally gets a battle with Kohaku, and Ginro discovers the secret of the Islands mysterious ruler. That secret being? That this is all one big Wizard of Oz situation! The ruler has been petrified, most likely by Ibara in some kind of coup, resulting in his kingdom being taken over by our current villains. I’ve always thought this was a pretty good twist, as it explains why the rest of the village puts up with Ibara’s clear corruption and even gives us an out besides defeating these people in mortal combat. Why conquer the island when you can just free their captured ruler as the only people in the world with revival fluid? It’s a good setup that dodges Dr. STONE’s biggest issues.

On top of that, this episode Ginro fucking dies! And I don’t mean “petrified” dies, though that does happen to try to save him, I mean he gets gored through the stomach and tossed off a building! That’s pretty brutal for Dr. STONE! I’m pretty sure in that one moment Ibara has killed more people than Tsukasa ever dead. Now sure, this is offset by the petrification beam healing people once they revive, and this was hinted at/prepped with Kaseki’s back. But I don’t think that takes away from the shock of the moment. Especially when Kohaku, someone who has generally been seen as unstoppable, gets captured/petrified along with him. It’s just such a great way to shift the series from it’s initial lighthearted start into the actual climax for the arc.

So yeah, all in all I quite enjoyed this episode. There were a few other small things, stuff like Moz and Kohaku talking about the kind of man she likes and it basically being a direct reference to Senku. We know Dr. STONE isn’t a romance series, it’s never going to commit to that, but I still like the acknowledgement of it. Makes it clear how much she and the others admire Senku, despite his general teasing ways. Beyond that, I already mentioned it, the shift to a more serious story was good and it feels like we’re gearing up to conclude this arc. It’s going to be a few episodes still, sure. But we’ve now lost one of our biggest assets and are on the back foot. Senku is going to have to do something. And soon.

The post Dr. STONE New World P2 – 2 [The Medusa’s True Face] appeared first on Star Crossed Anime.

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